WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAFB) - Senator Bill Cassidy, MD (R-La.) has joined health officials in President Donald Trump’s administration in unveiling the new Healthy Adult Opportunity (HAO) program, which will allow states to create specific policies to provide better care for able-bodied adults who are eligible for Medicaid.
Sen. Cassidy spoke at the program’s unveiling at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) along with HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verna, and Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt.
“Society has wisely accepted the helping to care for those who are less well off. It is essential that we have the financing to achieve this. We must do things differently in a way that will contribute to better outcomes,” said Dr. Cassidy.
According to Cassidy’s office, the HAO “places patients first through state flexibility, accountability, and patient protections by providing coverage for adults who aren’t eligible for benefits under their state’s Medicaid plan. It accomplishes this by granting states flexible funding options to build a program that works best for them. The program is optional and open to both states that have expanded Medicaid and those that have not.”
Sen. Cassidy says this option strengthens Medicaid by focusing on “quality-based results.” State who participate can adjust cost-sharing requirements to incentivize high-value care, align benefits more closely with those available through commercial insurance, and provide care through innovative delivery systems.
The release from Cassidy’s office goes on to say that rather than return the money to the federal government, states that realize savings through the program will be required to reinvest the money saved into the traditional Medicaid population (children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and low-income adults).